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Kings Party May Pump Up Idea of ‘Downtown’ Play

SACRAMENTO–

Grape vodka and sour cranberry juice – two of the key ingredients in a “Purple Rain.” It’s the Republic’s signature drink on nights when the Kings are on the court.

As host to Saturday’s Crown Downtown event touting the economic draw of possible Kings play in the rail yards, the Republic itself hopes to be a key ingredient in the effort to help the team stay.

The event starts with a road game viewing party.

“I think it’s very important,” said Brandon Hopper, Republic bar manager.

The dollars and sense of it could add up very well here. On a normal Friday night, Republic serves 250 people. Managers there believe a downtown Kings night could double that.

And then, they’re the added jobs.

“Yeah that’s the idea. That’s absolutely the idea,” said Andrew Blaskovich.

That idea’s another part of the Crown Downtown campaign that’s got food man Andrew Blaskovich salivating. Through his “Drewski’s food truck” brand, he serves the food at the Republic.

His rosemary and garlic tater tots are always popular. With the Kings closer, Blaskovich feels he could go through 210 pounds of them in a weekend, instead of 70.

After the viewing party, there’s a pub crawl to highlight just how Kings-related dollars could be spread around. It’s an easy sell to fans.

“It would be amazing, because of the energy down here,” said Taneshia Uehara.

“I think it would liven the place up make it real busy. Lots of good places to see. It would be nice,” said Susan Dobson about a possible Kings move downtown.

“We lose a professional sports team, that sets us back 10 years. Get an arena, get concerts … it puts downtown back on map,” said Blaskovich.

The viewing party at the Republic is open to all ages. Of course, the pub crawl’s limited to those 21 and over.